“Speak your truth, because someone out there needs to hear it.”
I think it all started with our move. We are in a new place and I don’t have any friends or family to lean on. Many military families know exactly what I’m talking about. It sort of plunged me deep into a time of anxiety, stress, and frustration. I would almost say a depression. Overall, I was unhappy with how things were going and I was exhausted trying to keep up with the kids. I knew I needed a kick in the A$$ and to find my purpose outside of motherhood.
I hadn’t had time to even think about who I was now that I was 30 with kids. Then the kids were so dependent on me and the exhaustion was so intense that being mom was all I had time to be! Now that the kids are getting older and starting to flex their independence, I began to notice that I was starting to need the kids more than they needed me. Let that sink in for a minute. It definitely shook me for a minute before I realized that it was actually a very GOOD thing!
It is so amazing that these little tiny humans that we created have developed to the point that they wanted to start doing things on their own. We have raised them to the point where they have the confidence to start letting go a little bit. Of course, there is still PLENTY of parenting left to do and I’m still wiping bottoms, cleaning up spills, cutting food into little pieces. BUT they’re wanting to pick out their clothes themselves, they are fine with the babysitter for a couple of hours, they are sleeping through the nights in their own beds, and they’re playing by themselves or together for longer and longer periods of time. This was huge; however, it made my identity crisis blaringly obvious.
After much reflection, I started looking outwards. Looking at my Facebook and Instagram feed, who was I drawn to and what posts made me happy to read. What did those people have in common and what was making them so happy? It had been a while since I had time for self-reflection so I felt like I needed a little help finding my way.
First, I started working out. Long story short….I’ll save that for a later post, I found Beachbody through my daughters Speech therapist. She is a dear friend who I looked up to and was always glowing and happy. I drank the juice. I worked out every single day, drank the Shakeology, and participated in the meal plan. I’ll be the first to admit that it helped a lot! I was eating healthy and getting exercise. There was a noticeable difference in my energy level and mood. In that time, I also tried my hand at being a coach and starting a challenge group. I was participating and doing the required daily personal development.
Now, let me interject that I am no longer a Beachbody Coach and this is not a post to neither promote nor talk trash about this company. I have strong feelings on this subject, but that is for a later post. The biggest shift was that I started putting myself first. That was huge! I started making an effort to grow, change, and learn.
Feeling guilty about putting yourself first just comes with the mom-territory… I think. Now more than ever, I believe it is important for us to start taking care of ourselves. When I started taking care of myself, I noticed I was a much better mom and spouse. I was reading books, listening to podcasts, going on date nights, making a new plan for my life essentially that created a more patient, creative, and energetic mom!
When I was in college, my life plan looked dramatically different. I had pictured us married with kids of course, but I was a working a 9-5 job while the kids were in school. Derek had his 9-5 job, we lived in one of our hometowns with family and friends close by. In my mind, I was using my biology degree working in a hospital or at a zoo (also a subject I’ll dive into someday). It’s proof that God’s plan is always greater.
Here we are, married for almost 10 years with 3 beautiful kids. All of which required much more work than we were led to believe in high school. We’re a military family, which means we have not lived near family in the last 8-years. I’ve been lucky enough to be a stay at home mom since we had our children and we’ve now embarked on our homeschool adventure. It’s an amazing chaotic life that I wouldn’t trade for anything, but that hasn’t left me completely fulfilled.
I needed a purpose. I needed a job outside of being a mom that was just mine. Something that I could be proud of and to show my kids that you’re never too old to stop learning and growing. Now came the hard part. What was my purpose? What could I find passion in that would still allow me to stay home with the kids and had the flexibility being a military wife requires. I literally sat down with a pen and paper (yes, I know I’m old school) and wrote out all of my strengths.
The one strength that I kept coming back to was reading and writing. I had always had a knack for reading and writing. It was a forgotten skill, but I thought that with a little practice I could pick it back up rather quickly. So I thought to myself, go for it, start a blog! I wanted to be there for all the other stay at home moms and military spouses out there! I remember searching Pinterest for blog after blog about stay at home moms to make me feel that what I was going through was totally normal! That was exactly what I wanted to do for other moms!
It has been everything I had hoped it would be. I love writing and I’m getting better with each post I write. I still have so much to learn. I’m a sponge right now trying to absorb every piece of information I can get my hands on. This is how I was meant to serve others. I want to help stay at home moms out there who need a light at the end of the tunnel. Moms who want to know that everything they’re going through and feeling is totally normal! As I start to learn more, I’m hoping to pass on all the information I have picked up. Maybe if you are trying to find yourself, your purpose, or are thinking blogging might be your calling, but have no clue where to start…maybe I can help!